During the lunchtime rush at downtown Charleston eatery Virginia’s on King, an employee of the restaurant reportedly shot one person, held others hostage, and then was shot by the police. The shooting was reported at 12:17 p.m., and police negotiated with the assailant for hours.
“This is not an act of terrorism. This is not a hate crime. It is a disgruntled employee,” Mayor John Tecklenburg told the media early on during the situation.
At a 3:15 p.m. press conference, Tecklenburg confirmed one fatality and the shooter in critical condition.
Customers who were in Virginia’s at the time of the assailant’s arrival reported that a man wearing an apron charged into the dining room with a revolver. Many of them were able to escape out of the restaurant and reported what they saw, such as the suspect locking the front door and declaring, “I am the new king of Charleston.”
Officials have not released the names of the victim or the assailant.
Officer standing outside Virginia on King with weapons drawn. pic.twitter.com/QKodWAbPtR— Dustin Waters (@CCPNews) August 24, 2017